Nancy's Reviews > The Brooklyn Follies

The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
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's review
Aug 27, 11

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Read in August, 2011

I want to say upfront: I enjoyed this. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. The story is clever, engaging, entertaining. I didn't mean to read the end first, but I did, because I had to KNOW. The Brooklyn Follies is narrated by Nathan, a recently divorced cancer survivor who has come to Brooklyn to die (or at least, to write a book about Great Follies He Has Known.) Lucky for him, before he can sink into utter despair, he runs into his nephew Tom, an unhappy ex-academic who is now working in the used bookstore of Harry Brightman, a flamboyant rascal. Their lives are all changed when Tom's niece Lucy - ragged, smart, and stubbornly mute - appears at his door. Auster keeps a slapping pace going, and stories of folly are cleverly interwoven with the first-person narrative.

But, oh dear, literary fiction. WHY is it always larded with guys who have been defeated sexually, brooding over hot women, and two-dimensional female characters defined mostly by their sexual proclivities? Why do critics always give literary fiction a complete pass for the very things that they decry in so-called "chick lit"? Somebody tell me THAT.
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